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In this paper, we present a novel power estimation scheme for programmable systems consisting of predesigned datapath and memory components. The proposed hybrid methodology yields highly accurate estimates within short runtimes by combining high-level simulation with analytical macromodeling of circuit characteristics. The kernel of our methodology is a simulation-free power estimation scheme for memoryless datapaths comprising several IP blocks connected in fixed topologies. The outer shell of our hybrid scheme is a functional simulation, which is performed only on the interfaces between memoryless components and memory blocks. This simulation accurately captures the control signals that affect the flow of data and, consequently, the utilization and power dissipation of hardware. Experimental results validate the accuracy and efficiency of our methodology. We applied our static power estimation kernel to signal processing and data encryption datapaths. For designs of up to 576 IP blocks, the average error of our power estimates is 7.3% in comparison with switch-level simulation results. We implemented our hybrid scheme into a power estimation tool, called HYPE, and used it to explore various architectural alternatives in the design of a 256-state Viterbi decoder and a Rijndael encryptor. For designs with about 1 million transistors, our estimator terminates within seconds. Compared with commercial state-of-the-art gate-level power estimators, our proposed methodology is up to 1000 times faster with 5.4% deviation on average.